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First Look Review
Cessna Skyhawk
Cessna 172
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

With this beautiful HO (1/87) scale Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Herpa joins their huge Wings collection of aircraft into their enormous collection of cars and trucks.

Herpa is well known in model railroading for their excellent car and truck models. Herpa also issues their Wings series, an enormous range of vintage and modern civil and military aircraft models from 1/160 to 1/500. And now Herpa is expanding their Wings series into HO scale (1/87) with this beautiful HO Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Several are sold including the plane of Matthias Rust "D-ECJB", famous for landing in Red Square after the intrepid teenager defeated Soviet air defenses in his attempt to spread peace.

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk

Cessna Aircraft Company Skyhawk is the best-known airplane type in the general aviation field. First flown in 1955 it is the world's most produced aircraft with more than 43,000 delivered. With seating for four, the original Skyhawk had a straight vertical stabilizer and no rear window, and was powered by a Continental O-300 145 hp (108 kW) six-cylinder, air-cooled engine. The 172A of 1960 introduced the swept back tail and rudder, and later the "Omni-vision" large rear window. Since then the model has seen many minor and major modifications, such as the retractable-gear version named it the Cutlass 172RG, the Reims FR172J, and Cessna R172K Hawk XP ("eXtra" Power.) Skyhawks also serve in the military as the T-41 Mescalero as a trainer with the United States Air Force and Army. The Skyhawk is also capable of mounting floats.

Today the Cessna 172S is in production. A model with a Thielert diesel engine was planned but Thielert filed for insolvency, and the endevour is in doubt.

The model

Herpa packages their HO Skyhawk in an eye-catching bright red, lightweight cardboard box with a plastic window. The model is safely sandwiched between a top and bottom form-fitted plastic case. An image of a runway on cardstock creates a background.

The model is plastic and assembled. The cabin has seat detail and the control wheels are visible through the very clear glazing. The propeller spins. Surface detail includes fine rivet detail atop the wing and engraved lines demarcating the control surfaces and flaps. The cooling intakes either side of the the spinner are indented and darkened. The wing mounted landing lights are painted on.

Herpa even molded the sloping wingtips.

Missing details are the pitot tube, the fuel expansion overflow, antennas for NAVCOM (navigation and communication) equipment, cabin air intakes, and tie-down rings under the wing and tail. In my "good ole days" the antennas were forks on the vertical stabilizer and today most are mounted on the upper wing or behind the rear window, with a blade type under the fuselage. The tie-downs can easily be added from fine links of chain or fine wire, as can the pitot tube and antennas.

Painting and Markings

The model is molded in white. Herpa does not use decals and prints the markings. These are sharp and opaque. Included are the "end number"--the aircraft registration number--and the Cessna logo on the tail. The navigation lights and rotating beacon are painted on, as are the fuel caps atop the wing abeam the cabin. The exhaust pipe is painted black although these are always a metallic annealed color.


I certainly hope that more civil light aircraft will be coming out in model railroad scales. Herpa has graced the HO world with a fine model of the light civil aircraft, circa 1960 to present. Skyhawks are found all over the world. This model stands by itself or as part of a railroad model. Recommend!
Highs: Sharp molding and markings. Cabin detail and airframe detail.
Lows: Nitpicky: no antennas, pitot tube nor tie-down rings.
Verdict: This model is impressive by itself or as part of a railroad model. It is wonderful to have a modern model of this iconic civil aircraft.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 019200
  Suggested Retail: 30,50 EUR
  Related Link: Herpa Cessna 172 Skyhawk
  PUBLISHED: Aug 05, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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